Cancelled 1870 Carson City Dollar Die and Coin Struck From That Die1870-CC $1 Dollar Cancelled Reverse Die and 1870-CC Dollar VG 10 Damaged Uncertified. This fascinating and historic cancelled die would be a wonderful complement for any advanced Carson City or Western Americana collection. It was one of the reverse dies used to strike the highly prized Liberty Seated Carson City dollars from 1870 until 1873. Carson City dies outside museums and public institutions are very rare. A die used to produce the historic CC Liberty Seated dollars is one of the most desirable dies in of all of Liberty Seated coinage and of all of Carson City coinage.
In 1862, more than a year after the Civil War began, the United States House of Representatives considered establishing a branch mint in the Territory of Nevada. It was hoped that having such a mint near the Comstock Lode would decrease the cost of transporting bullion to San Francisco and it would keep the bullion from being transported overseas. On March 3, 1863, Congress gave its approval, but it was not until after the Civil War that any further attention was seriously given to establishment of a branch mint in Carson City. In 1865, the plot of land to build the mint was purchased. Because of multiple delays, the mint building was not completed until 1869. The dies used to strike coins arrived from Philadelphia dated 1869 but these were never used. On January 6, 1870, the mint officially opened its doors. The dies used to strike coins with the proper date arrived four days after the mint opened.
On February 11, 1870, 2,303 Liberty Seated silver dollars were released into circulation, having been minted the day before. These dollars were the first coins to be issued with the CC mintmark. The next coins struck were ten dollar gold pieces. These were produced on February 14, 1870. On March 2, 1870, the first five dollar coins were made. Twenty dollar gold pieces followed in March 1870. Quarter dollars and half dollars were also struck in the first year of production at the mint. In the early days, the Carson City mint had only one coin press for the production of all of its coins. The mintage of a particular denomination was sporadic. A few hundred or a few thousand coins would be struck and the dies for this denomination might then be shelved for a number of months. Reverse dies, having no dates, might be shelved and reused years later. When a need for more coins of a certain denomination arose, production would resume, but not always with the same dies or combination of dies that had been used before.
There are five known reverses of Carson City silver dollars dated 1870, implying that there were five different reverse dies used to strike CC silver dollars in 1870. However, Reverse A was only used in 1870 and it is unknown in any subsequent years. All of the CC silver dollars struck in 1871, 1872, and 1873 were produced from reverse dies that were first used in 1870. In fact, in each of these years only one reverse die was used to strike all of the silver dollars minted that year. The reverse dollar die in this lot, with the CC mintmark clearly punched, struck coins with the reverse that John Kroon called Reverse 1 and Dave Bowers called Reverse A. John Kroon estimated that coins with Reverse A are the rarest and make up about 5% of known 1870-CC dollars. The die itself has a cancellation in the form of a deep, rim-to-rim X, and has sustained numerous contact marks over the years.
There are three known obverse die varieties of 1870-CC dollars. In Dave Bowers' book, Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States, A Complete Encyclopedia, only two obverse dies are mentioned (page 821). Bert Schlosser reported in The Gobrecht Journal, Volume Twenty One, Issue # 61, the discovery of a third obverse die variety that was paired with Reverse A. He called this Obverse 3-Date Far Right and High. The 1870-CC silver dollar in this lot, VG 10 Damaged, was struck from the accompanying die and shows Obverse 3 paired with Reverse A.
Carson City dies have been used to strike medals or medallic plates for sale or for raffles. This is an interesting and unusual pairing for the advanced silver dollar collector or Carson City specialist. Accompanied by a specially designed display case, the pair will make quite a conversation piece. (#6964) (Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 24ZE, PCGS# 6964)
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